Sunday, August 17, 2008

Report from LILAC: 5

Whilst checking back through draft blog entries I came across a number of unfinished conference reports. Ooops! One of them was from the LILAC conference, the UK’s major annual information literacy confernce which took place in Liverpool 17-19 March.

As well as presentations being online there are also podcasts of the keynote speeches and I would highlight those of Patricia Senn Breivik and Tara Brabazon as both being particularly good keynotes. The keynote podcasts can be accessed from and other presenters' powerpoints can be found by clicking on the link to the relevant parallel session from the programme page at

In my forgotten draft blog post I'd described one of the sessions which was interesting in not being about IL in a formal setting - so here's what I said. Alan Seatwo talked about How information helps to promote diversities and social justice: an overview of the information literacy project involving voluntary and community groups in Liverpool. His ppt is at Alan is “Knowledge Management Specialist at Edge Hill University. He is involved in a knowledge transfer project which meant running courses for community workers which improved their information literacy skills, and he also works with community-focused groups, applying his information literacy and information management skills. With the latter activity, he gave the example of his involvement in implementing a child protection policy; locating information, participating in meetings and supporting decisions etc.

Alan noted the wide difference between large social action groups like Age Concern (which have their own library/information setup) and small groups who may be suspicious or sceptical of working with someone from an “official” organisation, and will need to understand the benefits of information literacy in relation to their specific needs. Alan said that “it takes time and trust” to form relationships (though I suppose that is true anywhere!) and also you needed to take time to understand the processes and policy in the context you were working. One other point he made (that we didn’t have time to discuss) was that e-learning was not liked much by people in this context.
As well as the ppt linked above, there is an article in issue 41 (2007) of SCONUL Focus
Photos by Sheila Webber: of Liverpool Roman Catholic Cathedral , and of lilac on a lilac bush in a park near me that has just been ripped out by the Council in the name of "improvement".

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